Hot on the heels of Amazon's Alexa coming to iOS, Siri has more competition in the voice assistant department. The Google Assistant can now be installed as a stand alone app on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. While the Google Search app for iOS includes voice capabilities, the full-blown Google Assistant is more sophisticated and powerful.
To use Google Assistant, iPhone owners must launch the app first. Only Apple's Siri is integrated with the iOS system. Much like other voice assistants, Google makes it possible to quickly make reservations, create reminders, navigate, send emails and more. Queries can be spoken verbally or entered with the keyboard. Here are some examples from the official app description:
- Make quick phone calls (e.g. "Call Mom.")
- Send text messages (e.g. "Text my bestie.")
- Send emails (e.g. "Email your boss the latest TPS report.")
- Set reminders (e.g. "Remind me to buy a birthday gift for Sarah.")
- Set calendar events (e.g. "Set a calendar event for dinner with Charlie tomorrow from 7-9.")
- Play music (e.g. "Play Jazz music on Youtube.")
- Navigate to places (e.g. "Get me directions home.")
- Ask it anything (e.g. "Will I need an umbrella today?")
Google plans to roll out new features in updates to Google Assistant, including Google Lens integration. This would give iOS fans a way to perform actions visually by simply using the camera. For example, Google Assistant will be able to identify the species of a flower from its image, or to immediately review a restaurant by snapping a photo of its signage.
The Google Assistant app can be downloaded free on iTunes and requires iOS 9.1 or later and 256 MB of storage.